Philanthropy in the context of coronavirus

Natio­nal Day of Soli­da­rity. Soli­da­rity is the word of the moment. Coro­na­vi­rus has been the defi­ning force of 2020, hugely impac­ting every area of our lives. In the phil­an­thro­pic sector, nume­rous chari­ties and NGOs have been doing what they can to help. And the Swiss popu­la­tion has shown solidarity.

With the shorter, colder winter days, the number of cases is rising expo­nen­ti­ally. Coro­na­vi­rus is cree­ping back into our ever­y­day reality. It remains the domi­nant issue. In this context, nume­rous chari­ta­ble orga­ni­sa­ti­ons have mobi­li­sed to mini­mise the impact on people’s lives and coun­ter­act its nega­tive effects. The Swiss Soli­da­rity foun­da­tion called for a ‘Coro­na­vi­rus Inter­na­tio­nal’ Natio­nal Day of Soli­da­rity on 22 Octo­ber 2020. The charity was able to raise 4,016,886 francs. Swiss Soli­da­rity will use the money in colla­bo­ra­tion with its part­ner orga­ni­sa­ti­ons to help those who have been hit hardest by the pande­mic, in parti­cu­lar those in regi­ons wracked by war, natu­ral disas­ters and other crises. In the spring, Swiss Soli­da­rity succee­ded in raising 42,082,840 francs with the ‘Coro­na­vi­rus Switz­er­land’ appeal. Nume­rous other chari­ta­ble orga­ni­sa­ti­ons have been active in various capa­ci­ties throug­hout the crisis, too.

Emer­gency relief

In May, for exam­ple, the Chris­toph Merian Stif­tung made one million francs available for the cause. The money was dona­ted to part­ner insti­tu­ti­ons and project part­ners. The aim was to help provide emer­gency relief for the social and cultu­ral sectors in the face of the coro­na­vi­rus pande­mic. Another support package of 450,000 francs follo­wed in June. The money for both funds came from the Chris­toph Merian Stif­tung’s umbrella foun­da­tion. Stif­tung Merca­tor also reac­ted to the crisis. By early July, they had provi­ded 40 projects directly invol­ved in coro­na­vi­rus relief with a total of 1.2 million francs. In a call for papers, they began sear­ching for further projects ‘that addres­sed the lessons lear­ned from coro­na­vi­rus and initia­ted forward-looking deve­lo­p­ments for society and the envi­ron­ment’. In addi­tion, they ran an ideas lab in the autumn in which small teams deve­lo­ped solu­ti­ons for problems that the coro­na­vi­rus crisis had brought to the fore. 

Tack­ling the crisis together

The Z Zurich Foun­da­tion provi­ded funding of up to 20 million francs. The chari­ta­ble orga­ni­sa­tion belon­ging to the Zurich Insu­rance Group pled­ged this sum to support COVID-19 projects around the world. Fonda­tion Botnar provi­ded the same amount to fund inter­na­tio­nal rese­arch with the aim of impro­ving our scien­ti­fic under­stan­ding of COVID-19. In accordance with the Fonda­tion Botnar mission, the money will be inves­ted in new solu­ti­ons to build a better future for young people. The foun­da­tion supports these efforts by promo­ting the use of exis­ting cutting-edge rese­arch faci­li­ties in Switzerland. 

More infor­ma­tion on Swiss­foun­da­ti­ons

Learn more about the umbrella foun­da­tion of the Chris­toph Merian Foun­da­tion, the Stif­tung Merca­tor Switz­er­land, the Fonda­tion Botnar and the Z Zurich Foun­da­tion on stiftungschweiz.ch

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